Operations

Chauffeur Retention Made Easy: Show You Care

Lexi Tucker
Posted on January 13, 2017

Michael Hopkins, director of marketing for All Resort Group
Michael Hopkins, director of marketing for All Resort Group
PARK CITY, Utah — Large fleets and extreme winter weather can be a recipe for disaster, but only if you and your staff aren’t adequately prepared to handle issues that may arise. Michael Hopkins, marketing director for All Resort Group, spoke with LCT about how the company ensures client satisfaction through the use of impeccably trained chauffeurs and customer service focused on solving problems before they have a chance to escalate.

Take Care Of Them And They’ll Take Care Of You

Hopkins says many would be amazed by the type of people who chauffeur for the company. “We’ve seen everyone from engineers to entrepreneurs, doctors, veterans, and radio hosts,” he explains. “We even have an aerospace engineer who works for Boeing and also drives for us all winter long. We get people from every walk of life.”

In a time when finding good chauffeurs is one of the challenges operators struggle with the most, All Resort Group looks to the people they already have. “Their referrals are sometimes the best way to find new talent. We offer referral bonuses for new hires who work at least 90 days,” he says. But that’s not the only perk the company offers.

A large part of what Hopkins does is reaching out to local businesses and developing relationships much like a sales person would, but the focus is more on understanding what they do and in turn ensuring they know what All Resort Group does.

“This provides a ton of perks for our employees. We’ll partner with theaters, restaurants, and other companies. It’s interesting how community involvement can really help grow the business in different ways outside of just cold calling people and mass marketing.”

Kelley Colvin, Professional Chauffeur (The Chateaux, Deer Valley)
Kelley Colvin, Professional Chauffeur (The Chateaux, Deer Valley)
But these perspective chauffeurs must also go through diligent training, safety courses, and area familiarization. New hires are assigned a seasoned mentor who takes personal responsibility in helping them learn the best routes and making sure they have the knowledge they need to succeed.

Chauffeurs typically don’t get on the road for two to three weeks because they must go through extensive drug and alcohol testing. During the hiring process, the company makes sure each person has a clean driving record as well. “We don’t let anyone drive with any sort of misdemeanor. It’s hard for our drivers to even get hired with speeding tickets,” he says. “We have to maintain a very strict safety policy because of the sort of environment our drivers have to encounter and also the sort of clientele we work with.”

All Resort Group has a dedicated safety department that ensures their chauffeurs have ongoing training in multiple aspects of their jobs. Since the company updates its fleet every six months, chauffeurs must constantly familiarize themselves with new vehicles before driving. According to Hopkins, the business brings in 300 to 400 chauffeurs for two, 10 hour days of training classes every winter. “We invest heavily in our people—that’s the only way to grow,” he says.

Take It Seriously

This year, All Resort Group implemented a program called “Talk to the Manager.” Believe it or not, Hopkins got the idea from a taco shop that gave away the manager’s cell phone number on their business cards. This same idea is implemented by the business by the inclusion of a vinyl window sticker in every vehicle with a phone number and email address for guests to provide feedback, which is sent directly to the phone of the manager in the corresponding department.

“We also invested heavily into technology this year, one component of this being automated surveys,” says Hopkins. Hours after a ride is completed, users are sent automated requests via email for feedback on their ride. The results are segmented and provide them with a dashboard view of guest satisfaction on an hourly, daily, or weekly basis.

“Some people think it’s annoying, but it’s a really good way to stick a thermometer in your business and see how you’re doing; it’s better than just relying on Yelp. It helps enable us to fix issues right as they come in.”

Guests can also call the business’ Guest Services Department with details about their experience. Chauffeurs love hearing back from guests when everything went well, and they value feedback when things don’t go according to plan. This helps them continually improve their service levels.

“If something goes wrong on a trip, our first priority is making sure everyone is safe, and that everyone gets to their destination as quickly as possible. Sometimes this means sending a different chauffeur or sending the current chauffeur along a different route,” he explains.

Take What You’ve Got And Grow

All Resort Express was founded by Gordon “Gordo” Cummins in 1990 as a shared ride shuttle company. In 2004, Richard Bizzaro became a co-owner, and the two local entrepreneurs purchased Lewis Stages, Utah’s longest-operating bus company, in 2006.

In 2009, they purchased Park City Transportation, a shuttle brand that had been in business since 1973. With the merging of these major brands, they were able to cultivate a client-centric ground transportation experience that offers a wide variety of guest solutions.

The company operates a fleet of over 280 vehicles, including everything from motor coaches and mini buses to luxury vans, SUVs, sedans, and stretch limos. In 2016, they invested more than $3 million dollars in new luxury mini buses, motor coaches, as well as a new fleet maintenance facility in Las Vegas. In a given day, they can transport as many as 10,000 guests, according to Hopkins.

They’ve also seen the power technology has had in helping improve their operations. Their in-reservation flight tracking allows them to account for flight delays without wasting resources, and driver tablets give them a huge advantage. “This allows dispatchers to send guest information or add new guests to a shuttle run while it’s in progress,” Hopkins says.

“Drivers can view their next run and accept from their last drop-off location, instead of returning to the main office to receive a physical manifest. Dispatchers can also send messages to drivers with further instructions for each stop, allowing a seamless guest experience, even with last-minute changes.”

Of course, safety is the company’s biggest priority. Drivers are strictly prohibited from operating their tablet while driving, but messages from dispatch can come in handy in between stops.

To learn about All Resort Group and their partnership opportunities, e-mail Michael Hopkins, Director of Marketing at [email protected].

Related Topics: All Resort Group, chauffeur training, client feedback, customer service, employee benefits, employee perks, employee recruitment, employee retention, hiring chauffeurs, managing chauffeurs, recruiting chauffeurs, shuttle buses, shuttle vans, Utah operators, weather, WebXclusive

Lexi Tucker Associate Editor
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